The Qualie tournament is the way to go if this is your first time. It is free admission and there are no crowds, and that makes it much more casual. It makes a world of difference exploring the site for the first time. The lines for the restrooms and concessions are non-existent in the qualies compared to the main draw. Lots of great tennis also. A chance to see the stars of tomorrow on a big stage up close and personal. The Qualie tourney runs from Tuesday through Friday. It may be good to take in a couple of qualies, Arthur Ashe Kids day, and some of the main draw.
Arthur Ashe Kids day is a kick. In the Stadium, most of the top players come out and play tiebreaks. Mostly doubles and mixed, but in a short period of time, you can see lots of tops pros hit a little. Get the best seats that you can, it is worth it to be close. There are also lots of exhibitions and booths on the outside courts. The WTT League also holds its championship that day. Good fun.
There are basically two sets of practice courts. One group of, I think four, are right out in the open. Another group of six or eight, is less accesible for fans.
Everything at the site costs through the nose. Food at convenience stores in cheap in comparison. It is a very good idea to make sure that you get a fridge in your hotel room.
Souvenirs are outrageous at the site. T-shirts go for at least $20. A burger, fries, and beer will set ya back about $15 - $20.
Be prepared for heat and humidity. It can get extreme sometimes. There is a certain way to pace yourself if this is your first large tournament. A long hot day today, can effect you for days so be prepared and be aware of the location of the sun and shade. On hot days during the main draw, shade is limited.
Have fun, awsome experience, maybe I will see you there!